Category Archives: Microsoft

PowerShell and Security – Presentation at iSense

As mentioned in the previous blog post I was invited to speak at iSense to talk about PowerShell and Security. This event was fully by sponsored by iSense who provided the attendees with a great experience. Before my session I was briefly interviewed and the interview, in Dutch, will be available soon.

Security is a topic that continues to make headlines around the world and as a result, PowerShell is mentioned more often either as an method to exploit or to prevent and secure your system. In this presentation I showed how PowerShell can be configured to provide insights in what scripts and tools are running in your environment and how to secure your PowerShell endpoints using Just Enough Administration, JEA.

The audience after 90 minutes of PowerShell and Security

The audience after 90 minutes of PowerShell and Security

After the presentation I received a lot of questions about PowerShell in general and the Dutch PowerShell User Group, we will soon be holding another PowerShell User Group meeting, for more information visit the following link: 10th DuPSUG Meeting, there are at the time of writing still a few tickets available for this event on the 9th of March.

Furthermore, at the Dutch PowerShell User Group we are working on putting out some events that are a bit more beginner oriented. For anyone who is interested in learning more about PowerShell stay tuned as we have a lot of good interesting stuff in the works.

The presentation deck and the slides are as always available on GitHub:
GitHub – Jaap Brasser – Events – iSense2017

For more information I have provided an overview of all the links in this article:

PowerShell and Security @ iSense
GitHub – Slides and code
iSense
Dutch PowerShell User Group
IT Future Lab – PowerShell and Security

Next week: Presenting at iSense on PowerShell and Security

Recently I was invited by iSense to come and speak at one of their technical evenings. On the 16th of February I will be speaking on PowerShell and Security. To quote a short excerpt from the iSense website:

This demo-rich session goes into detail on some best practices on securing PowerShell and highlights and the steps that have been taken in PowerShell 5.0 that allow you to do so. In the first section of this evening we will touch some of the basic concepts of security that we have available to us in PowerShell. Then Jaap will go into detail how you can correctly implement them by demoing the functionality.

For more information on this head over to:
PowerShell and Security – The how, what and why

There are still tickets available, so if you are interested in PowerShell, Security or a combination of both I would be more than happy to meet you there.

Configure Storage Sense using PowerShell

Recently the Storage Sense functionality has been added to Windows. Unfortunately there are no PowerShell commands available to manage this so I decided to write this function to be able to manage the different settings that are available in regards to Storage Sense.

There are a number of settings that can be configured in the Settings > Storage > Storage sense, settings menu. The settings that can be configured are as follows:

By clicking: Change how we free up space, the following options become available:

So in order to configure this using PowerShell I have created the Set-StorageSense function with the following parameters:

  • EnableStorageSense
  • DisableStorageSense
  • RemoveAppFiles
  • ClearRecycleBin

So if you would like to disable this functionality and not have Windows automatically clear out temporarily and otherwise obsolete files you can run the following command:

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Set-StorageSense -DisableStorageSense

Alternatively the other options can also be configured, the following command Enables Storage Sense and configures all cleanup options to true while displaying verbose output:

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Set-StorageSense -EnableStorageSense -RemoveAppFiles $true`
-ClearRecycleBin $true -Verbose

This would of course not be complete without being able to query this data as well, which is possible using the Get-StorageSense function:

Although I looked into manually triggering the Clean Up job, this is something that did not seem possible, I used Sysinternals Procmon to determine which command is associated with that. But even when running this as the System account it did not appear to clean anything. I will provide the execution in case it is of value for anyone else:

c:\windows\system32\svchost.exe -k localsystemnetworkrestricted -s StorSvc

Let me know if PowerShell functions like these are useful to you and if it works as expected. Do note that this functionality is only available in recent builds of Windows 10.

Links in this Article
GitHub – Get-StorageSense
GitHub – Set-StorageSense
GitHub – CustomizeWindows10 Module
PowerShellGallery – CustomizeWindows10 Module

 

MS Cloud Summit Paris – Slides and Code

On the 23rd of January I had the opportunity to speak at the MS Cloud Summit Paris pre-conference. Together with the dbatools / dbareports legends, Chrissy LeMaire and Rob Sewell we covered an entire day of PowerShell, Azure and SQL Server. The event itself has been really great and well organized, so I would like to thank the organization for putting together such a fantastic event for the European technical community!

As always I have made the code and slides available on GitHub, so if you are interested in the content that I delivered have a look over here:

GitHub – Jaap Brasser – Events – MSCloudSummitParis2017

For more information about the event please visit the following links:

MS Cloud Summit Paris 2017
GitHub – Slides and code
MS Cloud Summit Paris website
MSCloudSummit – Speaker page – Jaap Brasser
MSCloudSummit – Twitter

 

Full day of Cloud, PowerShell and SQL Server in Paris

On the 23rd of January, I will be presenting, together with Chrissy Lemaire and Rob Sewell, at the MS Cloud Summit in Paris. Together we will be taking you through the basics of PowerShell Automation, Azure and SQL Server. Rob and Chrissy will be showcasing the capabilities of the DbaTools PowerShell module.

The MS Cloud Summit Paris is a sold-out community event with over 600 attendees and speakers from all over the world. Here is a short summary of the event:

  • 1 day pre-conference workshops
  • 2 days of conference
  • 600 attendees expected
  • Passionated audience
  • 6 tracks – 60 sessions
  • Microsoft Cloud technologies (Azure, Office 365, Data Platform)
  • Microsoft Hybrid technologies (SQL Server, SharePoint, etc.)
  • Valuable international and french speakers

There are currently only tickets available for the pre-conference sessions, so if you did not decide yet there is still a change to join us there.

Configure Windows 10 Blue Light settings with PowerShell

As discussed in the previous post on configuring Lunar Calenders in Windows 10, another interesting feature was also introduced in the 15002 Windows 10 Build: Blue Light Settings. Recently more operating systems have included options for reducing the amount of blue light emitted after sundown. This is easier on your eyes and allows you to fall asleep better at night time.

There are a number of settings that can be configured in the Settings > Display > Blue light settings, settings menu. The settings that can be configured are as follows:

Because automation is a great thing and manually clicking through GUI interfaces is not always optimal I decided to write a PowerShell function to simplify the configuration. For example you could utilize this function to automatically disable the reduced blue light settings when color sensitive work is performed, or lower the amount of blue light emitted as the night progresses. These are some of the actions that the Set-BlueLight function can perform.

To instantly turn of the reduced blue light setting the following code can be run:

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Set-BlueLight -DisableBlueLight

To enable the reduced color mode and set the color shift to Medium run the following code:

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Set-BlueLight -EnableBlueLight -ColorTemperature MediumShift

To automatically reduce blue light emitted based on the Day and Night cycle in your geographical location execute this:

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Set-BlueLight -EnableAutomaticSchedule

The values that are configured by the script are byte arrays in the registry, so it required a bit of reverse engineering to get the values to match the settings in the control panel. The function is currently available on GitHub in my Shared Scripts repository: Set-BlueLight

This function will be added to the CustomizeWindows10 module after I have developed my functional and unit tests to ensure the quality of this function.

For more information about the functions and modules discussed in this article, please refer to the following links:

Links in this Article
GitHub – Set-BlueLight
GitHub – CustomizeWindows10 Module
PowerShellGallery – CustomizeWindows10 Module

 

Enable Lunar Calendar in Windows 10

As I installed the latest build of Windows 10 on my system I read that it was now possible to set the calendar to also display the Lunar Calendar in the calendar overview. Because I like automating stuff I decided to take a look at where this is configured. Note that the steps in this post are based on Windows 10 Build 15002,

It turns out this in configured in the following registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\CloudStore\Store\Cache\DefaultAccount\$$windows.data.lunarcalendar\Current

Interestingly enough, the store cache seems to contain many of the recently released new functionality in Windows 10. At the moment this seems to be the space to watch if you are looking to automate your settings in Windows, although most values are binary so it might take some work to figure out how to configure this.

After setting this value to the three possible options:

  • Off
  • Lunar Calendar with simplified Chinese characters
  • Lunar Calendar with traditional Chinese characters

Unfortunately this because the Data property is a binary string, so this is not that easy to manipulate. The following values correspond with the settings. I will list both the binary strings as well as their base 64 representation.

Settings Byte Array Base64
Off 2,0,0,0,88,33,207,247,241,107,210,1,0,0,0,0,67,66,1,0,16,2,0 AgAAAFghz/fxa9IBAAAAAENCAQAQAgA=
Simplified 2,0,0,0,148,217,114,130,241,107,210,1,0,0,0,0,67,66,1,0,16,4,0 AgAAAJTZcoLxa9IBAAAAAENCAQAQBAA=
Traditional 2,0,0,0,75,55,152,236,241,107,210,1,0,0,0,0,67,66,1,0,16,6,0 AgAAAEs3mOzxa9IBAAAAAENCAQAQBgA=

To simplify settings these values the Set-AdditionalCalendar function that is included in the CustomizeWindows10 module can be used to configured these settings:

To install this module and configure these settings run the following code:

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Install-Module -Name CustomizeWindows10
Set-AdditionalCalendar -Simplified

For more information about the functions and modules discussed in this article, please refer to the following links:

Links in this Article
PowerShellGallery – CustomizeWindows10 Module
GitHub – CustomizeWindows10 Module
GitHub – Set-AdditionalCalendar